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For my Ph.D. thesis I'm looking at royal inscriptions from Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), and part of what I'm trying to do is analyze their spatial distribution - i.e. how many were found at which archaeological site. I'd like to create a map to illustrate this, with a visual indication of the quantity of objects found, e.g.: Kish - 20 objects Ur - 100 objects Uruk - 2 objects etc etc.

I have an excel spreadsheet with the site names, their lat/lon, and the quantity of objects found there.

Can someone point me in the right direction for how to change this data into a visual representation?

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You can load the table with Layer -> Add layer -> Add delimited text layer and tell qgis which column is lat and which contains long information. Then you can change the visualization in the properties (style) of the just loaded layer

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